Those 5 Seconds Of Summer chaps were in London for the iTunes Festival on Thursday night. Andy Biddulph reports back from a somewhat screamy Camden Roundhouse...
Charlie Simpson’s homely acoustic fare makes for a laid back beginning to tonight's festivities. The likes of ‘Down Down Down’ and newbie ‘Haunted’ were always going to go down smoothly, if not all that rapturously, and the scattered chants of "Charlie, Charlie, Charlie" that follow a reworked, low-key ‘Emily’ prove that although on the surface this show isn’t the perfect fit for him, it's a worthwhile trip to Camden.
All of that pales, of course, in comparison to the reaction afforded to tonight’s main event. Hell, even the scream that greets Ashton Irwin’s drums being wheeled onstage beats anything else that came before it. When they do appear, 5 Seconds Of Summer waste no time getting acquainted with every inch of the stage where they saw their first ever London show after moving over here (it was Muse, in case you were wondering).
5 Seconds Of Summer
The sea of phones held aloft by the crowd captures deafening screams and a band dressed in all-black, complete with low-slung guitars and seemingly limitless energy. Michael, Luke and Calum bound around the stage while picking their way through an impressive opening trio of ’18’, ‘Out Of My Limit’ and a sugary-sweet ‘Voodoo Doll’. Which causes total pandemonium, naturally.
The fun doesn’t stop there, either, with the scruffy bounce of ‘Heartbreak Girl’ and a surprisingly unhinged ‘Don’t Stop’ allowing all four vocalists to showcase their chops and the kind of stage presence that only comes from spending most of your time on stages much, much bigger than this one. The odd musical slip adds to their charm, and serves as a reminder that while they may be international mega-super-duperstars these days, they’re still a young, relatively raw rock band.
A mid-set one-two of ‘Amnesia’ and ‘Beside You’ makes for an unwelcome drop in tempo, but sparks huge singalongs all the same, before ‘Heartache On The Big Screen’ brings proceedings back up to full speed and allows Irwin to batter the crap out of his drums. ‘Long Way Home’ and a ballsy romp through ‘Good Girls’ brings the first portion of their set to an accomplished close.
Their encore is similarly slick. A cover of The Romantics’ ‘What I Like About You’ is as carefree and sunny as it ought to be, while a first ever airing of ‘End Up Here’ fills the cavernous Roundhouse like the massive pop-rock anthem it is. The small matter of cranking through ‘She Looks So Perfect’ – a song so household your nan probably knows every word – is made easier by the thousand or so voices shouting back, and caps an hour that offers further confirmation that this band are a massive, massive deal. But more importantly, it's proof that they have the showmanship, songs and talent to back up the hype.
Words by Andy Biddulph. Photos by Ben Gibson. Head here to see our full gallery of photos from the show.
5 Seconds Of Summer & Charlie Simpson
September 04, 2014
‘Out Of My Limit’
‘Heartache On The Big Screen’
‘Long Way Home’
‘What I Like About You’ (The Romantics cover)
‘End Up Here’
‘She Looks So Perfect'
Want more 5SOS? There's a HUGE All Time Low / 5 Seconds Of Summer poster in Issue 192 of Rock Sound, which will be in UK stores on Wednesday, September 10 and can be ordered right here.